Islamists face heavy losses in Pakistan vote: TV

Pakistan's main alliance of Islamist parties faced heavy losses on Tuesday, early election results showed, five years after winning control of a key province bordering Afghanistan.

Islamists face heavy losses in Pakistan vote: TV
The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal alliance was the third-largest grouping in the previous national parliament with 50 seats.

But they had won just two seats out of 158 counted in unofficial early results announced by state run television Tuesday, the day after crucial parliamentary elections across Pakistan.

Formed in 2002, the alliance won control of the North West Frontier Province.

In one constituency, up to 4,000 people gathered early to celebrate the victory of Arbab Alamgir Khan, from the party of Benazir Bhutto who was slain in a gun and suicide attack in December.

They fired volleys of celebratory gunfire into the air and drove around in open trucks shouting, "Long live Bhutto!"

According to the unofficial results, alliance leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, was defeated in his home town of Dera Ismail Khan, the constituency he previously held.

The cleric, opposition leader in the previous provincial assembly, won another seat in neighbouring Bannu district, according to state television.

Under national election laws, a candidate can contest a number of seats but may only hold one.

The alliance split before the elections after one major party, Jamaat-e-Islami, announced a boycott, leaving only Rehman's Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam (JUIF) to take part.

Musharraf's parliamentary allies were also facing electoral defeat, according to early unofficial results.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Şubat 2008, 12:39